個人資料保護辦公室

Gabinete para a Protecção de Dados Pessoais

Office for Personal Data Protection

Enquiry Case Notes
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No: 0035/2014/PA

Title: Processing of personal data of deceased persons

Content:

    Bureau A consulted the Office for Personal Data Protection (GPDP) whether exchanging data of deceased individuals with other public departments is subject to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), and whether the GPDP should be notified or should issue any authorization for such exchange.

Result:

    Due to the fact that Bureau A did not provide information that required by Article 23 of the PDPA, the GPDP could only provide a general reply for this enquiry.
  According to Article 3 of the PDPA, the target of the law is “the processing of personal data”. According to Article 4(1)(1) of the same Law, “personal data” shall mean any information of any type, including sound and image, that relate to an identified or identifiable natural person.  Moreover, according to the Civil Code, the concept of natural person exclude deceased individuals; therefore deceased persons’ personal data should not be regarded as personal data.  However, as long as the deceased’s personal data relates, or having any impact, to any living persons, it should be, on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether the data should be regarded as personal data.  If so, this should be governed by the PDPA then.
  On the other hand, if the PDPA applies, whether it is necessary to submit an application or notification for a processing then this should also be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  Finally, if Bureau A intends to seek for GPDP’s opinion, please submit the information as required by Article 23 of the PDPA.

Reference:
Please refer to “Personal Data Protection Act”, articles 3, 4, and 23.

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